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How to raise a happy, nice cat?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Well, I posted about a year ago on my new cat. Well, he's a year old and completely evil. I don't know what we did wrong, but he hates being held, and if you pick him up, he won't immediately attack, but he growls and might hook his claws into you. That's to us, his family. If anyone not in the family, IE, a stranger tries to pat him or pick him up, he hisses and swats at them. He almost attacked a baby one day and did attack one of my friends ( she had four tiny puncture marks on her temple from his claws...). He hates other animals and has finally come to accept the new kitten we got.

She's the reason I'm writing. I want her to grow up different from our year old cat. Since she is going to be my cat when we move, I feel like it's up to me to change how she acts. How do I raise her so that she'll be nice to everyone when she's grown up? I want her to be affectionate and not to use her claws on people for no reason.

By the way, the new kitten is only seven or eight weeks old.

Any help out there?
post #2 of 6
I think a lot of it depends on the individual cat; they have different personalities, so much of the behavior isn't created by you or their environment.

For the new kitten, make sure you never let her play with (bite or claw) people's hands or feet or any other body part. When it starts out, people can think it's cute, but it sets up a pattern for the adult cat. Always use toys instead.

I don't think your older cat is a hopeless case, either. At a year old, he's still an adolescent, and has extra energy. There are a number of things you can do. First, many cats do not like being picked up, so don't pick him up anymore. (Particularly young cats want to play rather than be held.) Don't push attention on him that he doesn't want. That may be the source of a lot of his aggression. Instead, ignore him and let him go about his business... this will allow him to eventually come to you when he wants to be petted, and to learn that he can come up to you for brief periods and then go away, without getting unwanted attention or being grabbed. The same behavior goes for strangers who visit the house.

Aggression can also come from a bored, frustrated cat. Make sure he has different toys and that you play with him regularly (unless he plays a lot with the other cat, in which case it's not as necessary), and add stimulating things to his environment like a cat tree.

I also think you should take him to the vet for a checkup. Sometimes when cats hiss at being touched, it's because there's something wrong and they're in pain.
post #3 of 6
I agree... cats are no more wind-up toys than people are, and a young male cat is like a 10-15 year old boy who absolutely can't stand being fussed by his mother (or father) and wants to play. He also won't like being held by relative strangers, but has no way to tell you other than by scratching, hissing or growling (doesn't speak English, after all). He may well come to be more 'lap-y' in future, but let him be the one to decide when. It's one thing to 'train' animals regarding bathroom habits, etc., another to expect them to be all alike and ready for our version of affection whenever we want some. How would we like it if he expected us to lick him a lot, sniff closely and make high (or low) sounds of pleasure almost inaudible to us, but that would convey something nice to him? Don't forget petting may seem a nice gesture to us, but to a cat, it's more like having to accept a gesture of dominance towards him from us.
post #4 of 6
Every cat will be different. Ophelia Rose, pulled from a feral colony, pretty snuggly, likes to be held (sorta) & petted.

TigerLily, bottle raised. HATES ME. Bites me, scratches me, etc.

Got TigerLily as a baby, Ophelia Rose @ 3 years.

You really cannot predict how a kitten will grow up, which is why I choose adult cats.
post #5 of 6
I agree with those who said it is the personality of the cat. When I first saw Max at the shelter he was cuddling with two other kittens (he was 3 mo old). When I picked him up all he wanted was to be cuddled. He is now 8 years old and still wants to be cuddled every chance he gets. I think a cat's personality is with him or her from the start.

Also, Max is part Manx and I understand that they are a very friendly breed.
post #6 of 6
Neither of my cats likes to be picked up. One of them will squirm to get down as soon as she is picked up, the other one will tolerate it for a short time them he starts squirming. They will lay in bed with me and are attention seekers but they aren't really lap cats. It's just different personalities not anything that you did or didn't do.
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